For the first time Amazon will be streaming all ten of the fixtures to be played from Tuesday through to Thursday and the short turnaround is not just an issue for the real life managers, but also for those of us who are playing Fantasy Football.
With that short gap between games in mind, this thread is not going to be as long as some others. I have been waiting for as long as possible to make a decision about my free transfer to use this week with the main concern being Tammy Abraham and his availability against Aston Villa. You can see my thought process of how I am going to deal with the Abraham situation in the Fantasy portion of the thread with the disclaimer that I could make a decision right up until the deadline for GW15 which is 6:30pm UK time on Tuesday 3rd December.
Crystal Palace v Bournemouth Pick: This is a big week for fans of English Football as Amazon become the latest broadcaster to offer Premier League Football having secured two packages in December.
They have decided to broadcast every Premier League game in this round with the ten games split over three days and the first one to kick off on the streaming channel will be Crystal Palace versus Bournemouth.
This is an important game for both Roy Hodgson and Eddie Howe as they look to guide their clubs back into the top half of the Premier League table with a victory. The Division is a tight one with only 2 points blanketing 5th placed Tottenham Hotspur down to Crystal Palace in 11th, while Bournemouth are two points further behind than their hosts.
Crystal Palace had a big win at Burnley on Saturday, but defensive injuries can't be ignored when you think of the chances that the hosts missed on the day. Those are likely to be punished by a Bournemouth team who have scored in their last 4 Premier League games including in back to back away games at Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur.
The Eagles have been conceding a fair few goals of late so the clean sheet would have been welcome on Saturday even if it was a touch undeserving. That won't matter to Roy Hodgson, although he will want to see a better effort in protecting their own goal.
On the other hand Crystal Palace will believe they can hurt a Bournemouth team who have lost 3 in a row in the League and conceded at least twice in each defeat. Even a goal-shy Newcastle United managed two goals against Bournemouth recently so I expect Crystal Palace to have their moments in this one even if they have been far from the most clinical of teams in the top flight.
Both teams have been creating enough to believe they can do the same against what have been vulnerable defences. Games between Crystal Palace and Bournemouth have been high-scoring of late with the last 4 overall all ending with at least three goals shared out and that same number hit in 7 of the last 8 at Selhurst Park with the sole exception being a 1-1 draw.
That is arguably the one scoreline that prevents this game going in the same direction as the recent trend between these clubs, but backing at least three goals to be shared out at odds against is the play.
Burnley v Manchester City Pick: The second of the games to kick off on Tuesday, 45 minutes after the first, comes from Turf Moor as Manchester City try and give CPR to what is a flagging Premier League title challenge.
A poor run of form has seen Manchester City win 1 of their last 5 games in all competitions and that has allowed Liverpool to keep pulling away with 11 points between the clubs that finished one and two last season. The defending Champions might be saying all the right things about not giving up and just trying to win matches, but no one can really deny that Manchester City have simply not looked right in recent weeks.
Injuries are not helping, but Manchester City should be able to cope better than they have and the lack of intensity for large portions of the 2-2 draw at Newcastle United will have been a big concern. Losing Sergio Aguero is a big blow anyway, but he has scored three of the four goals Manchester City have managed at Turf Moor under Pep Guardiola and that absence could be keenly felt on Tuesday.
Last season Burnley didn't really lay a glove on Manchester City who won 0-1 here, but this season teams are taking more chances against what is clearly a vulnerable defence. Aymeric Laporte has been a big miss and Vincent Kompany's experience could also have been invaluable at this time, but without them Manchester City look far from confident at the back.
Burnley have been creating plenty of chances in their home games all season and in Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood they have players who can punish Manchester City in this one. Even on Saturday it was a lack of composure in the final third which hurt Burnley in their 0-2 defeat to Crystal Palace, but I think they are going to cause problems through set pieces in this one and I expect the home team to take more chances.
I did consider backing Burnley with the start being given to them on the Asian Handicap, but my main feeling is that they are going to need to score if they are going to cover that mark for a full payout. They have certainly created enough to believe they can find the net, while it is very difficult to see any team containing Manchester City even when not at their very best.
Both teams to score is an odds against shot in this Premier League game and I think that is a big price considering all the factors in play. I do think Burnley play with more ambition than they had in this corresponding fixture last season when battling to avoid the drop and that can see both teams hit the net in this game.
Chelsea v Aston Villa Pick: There is little doubt that an early Chelsea goal on Saturday would have changed the entire complexion of the eventual 0-1 defeat to West Ham United and The Blues certainly had enough chances to win the game. They were missing Tammy Abraham who has cemented his role as the starting Number 9 for Chelsea, although Frank Lampard has to shoulder some of the blame by picking a rusty Olivier Giroud over Michy Batshuayi to the surprise of almost everybody.
The former England midfielder would have had his reasons, but the changes made to the forward line were not helpful to Chelsea who need a reaction on Wednesday. Pedro was another who surprisingly was given a start considering he has not been involved in recent weeks and ultimately Chelsea paid for being wasteful in front of goal while David Martin also made a couple of decent saves for West Ham United.
It sounds like Abraham will be available for this fixture on Wednesday and that could give Chelsea a huge boost. I would expect Willian to also start and the more familiar feel to the front line should be crucial for the home team. While Chelsea have dropped a lot of points here, they had won 3 Premier League games in a row at Stamford Bridge prior to Saturday and no one can deny the amount of chances that Chelsea have been creating.
I am expecting more of the same on Wednesday when they host an Aston Villa team off a morale boosting 2-2 draw at Old Trafford. They came from behind to secure the result against Manchester United, but Aston Villa continue to look vulnerable at the back and I am very much expecting to see that exploited by Chelsea in this fixture.
Dean Smith does demand an attractive brand of football from his Aston Villa team and they will get forward and look to hurt Chelsea in this one. I think they have a chance of creating one or two good opportunities which makes it hard to get a read on the game, but Chelsea's 3 clean sheets in a row at home in the Premier League prior to the result on Saturday has me leaning to The Blues winning and winning by a margin to cover the Asian Handicap.
Aston Villa have suffered 3 narrow losses (one goal margin) and 2 by a wider number in the Premier League this season. However one of those games saw Aston Villa score in the very last minute to narrow the defeat at Wolves to 2-1, and the underlying stats suggest Aston Villa are fortunate they have not been on the wrong side of more heavier losses.
We have seen Chelsea create enough at home to believe they can bounce back here although they need to show a little more composure in the final third. They should have got a few more at home than they have so far this season and I think Chelsea might also be playing an opponent that put in a lot on Sunday and are potentially a touch fatigued while also thinking about the big Midlands derby with Leicester City which is next on deck.
Chelsea might have only won 3 home League games so far this season, but 2 of those came by at least two goal margins and I will back the hosts to cover the Asian Handicap in this one.
Leicester City v Watford Pick: The late, late goal to beat Everton was greeted with rapturous celebrations from the Leicester City players and fans, but they will need to settle down and just refocus ahead of this next Premier League game.
As the closest challengers to Liverpool in the Premier League table, Leicester City and Brendan Rodgers know they have to keep winning and hope that puts some pressure on the League leaders. They kick off before Liverpool on Wednesday, but Rodgers will be urging his players to focus on this game and not worry about events taking place at Anfield.
He will also be reminding his players of his own commitment to the cause with rumours suggesting Rodgers would perhaps like a crack at the vacant Arsenal job. Brendan Rodgers himself denied he is focused on anything but Leicester City, but you do have to wonder if those distractions perhaps play a part in this fixture.
In reality it is an ideal game for Leicester City to rally together as they face manager-less Watford (who likely have made an appointment by the time this game kicks off). A lack of confidence is clear in some of the performances Watford have produced and losing to relegation rivals Southampton on Saturday is a major blow for the club who have made the right decisions to avoid relegation in recent years.
Watford didn't play badly at Southampton, but defensively there are some major question marks while they don't score a lot of goals either. They have lost 4 of their last 6 away games in all competitions and also their last 4 at the King Power Stadium and I am finding it difficult to see anything but another Leicester City win.
Where Watford lack goals, but concede too many, Leicester City have been largely pretty good from a defensive point of view. They have also managed to score at least two goals in 6 straight games at the King Power Stadium and throughout their 7 game winning run and I do think there will be too much firepower in the final third for the visitors to cope with.
Backing Leicester City to win this one and cover the Asian Handicap is the play for me.
Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur Pick: It has been little under a year since Jose Mourinho was sacked as manager of Manchester United and replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but the former 'Special One' is back in M16 with a new team on Wednesday.
Jose Mourinho has taken over from Mauricio Pochettino as manager of Tottenham Hotspur and his new team have won 3 in a row under his guidance while scoring plenty of goals. The goals being conceded will be a concern, but in a twist of fate Mourinho could put another nail in the coffin of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's managerial career at Manchester United with a win on Wednesday.
Even more ironically it could lead to Pochettino returning to the Premier League having long been linked with the top job at Manchester United and the rumours refuse to go away while Solskjaer struggles to find consistent performances and results. The 2-2 draw with Aston Villa was the first time this season a small section booed the players off at Old Trafford, while more and more are beginning to question the logic of appointing a manager without any real credentials to be in charge of the 'biggest club in the world'.
All those rumours can be quashed if Manchester United can win this fixture, but the pressure will be ramped up massively if they are beaten ahead of the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium. The players have to find a way to cope with the situation which is also magnified by the fact that Mourinho is returning with a new team.
Tottenham Hotspur have looked revitalised under the new manager although I am not sure how much work they are being able to get through on the training ground. The benefit for Spurs in this one is that Mourinho should know Manchester United backwards and that means he will also be best equipped to set his team up to nullify what United bring to the table.
You would have to think Tottenham Hotspur can expose what has become a vulnerable Manchester United defence, while they have the midfield to control the pace of the game. Jose Mourinho has to be concerned by the defensive performances though so I am not sure he will want to sit on a narrow lead, even if the manager will be desperate to avoid a defeat at Old Trafford.
On the other side Manchester United have to show more than being a sheer counter attacking team as they try and pressure a team who have conceded two goals in all of their games under their new manager. In recent games Manchester United have looked better in creating chances, although once again I have to wonder if Mourinho is not the best equipped to prevent the home team doing what they want.
Recent history between these teams have seen plenty of tight games as Tottenham Hotspur have improved and perhaps even surpassed Manchester United on the field. This has felt like potentially being another, but I don't think either team is defending well enough to believe they are going to keep the other from scoring.
A 1-1 draw was the outcome of Arsenal and Liverpool visiting Old Trafford this season and that looks a real player here. However I think both teams have shown enough going forward and vulnerability defensively to believe this could be the fourth game in a row at Old Trafford that features at least three goals shared out.
An early goal will open things up and if that comes the layers might be right in making the chances of seeing at least three goals an odds on shot.
Southampton v Norwich City Pick: The main feeling I had about this game was the obvious conclusion of there being at least three goals shared out, but the layers might finally be getting on top of that market as far as Southampton games are concerned. Against Watford that market was almost priced up at odds against, but it is as low as 1.57 for this game.
Part of the reason has to be the way Norwich City have approached games all season with a strong looking attacking threat, but with a miserable defensive record. It was all highlighted in the 2-2 draw with Arsenal on Sunday, but I can't back at least four goals here knowing the importance of the fixture to both teams.
I doubt the managers will want to open things up if they are ahead and that makes it a more difficult game to read. While I do think a 2-1 scoreline either way is possible, again it is priced up way too low and especially so when you consider that none of the last 7 Norwich City away games have ended with three or more goals shared out.
Southampton do create a lot of chances, but outside of Danny Ings there has not been a consistent threat. Even against Watford on Saturday they were fortunate to come away with a win despite Shane Long doing his best to miss presentable chances and so there look to be better options out there.
I can't recommend Southampton at odds on to win any game of football to be perfectly frank- they have only won back to back home games once since January 2017 and that makes them hard to really believe in. However I will admit that for any prediction leagues you may be involved in, I would be backing the home team to come away with the points and that is largely down to Norwich City's poor defensive record away from home.
Even then The Canaries have had clean sheets in 2 of their last 3 away games at Bournemouth and Everton and won at Goodison Park so I am moving on beyond this fixture with better options out there during the week.
Wolves v West Ham United Pick: Things got very emotional for David Martin at the end of West Ham United's win over Chelsea on Saturday and his efforts in goal might just have saved Manuel Pellegrini's job at the London Stadium.
Backing it up won't be easy as West Ham United prepare to travel to Molineux where Wolves have been very difficult to beat all season. There are still some major questions for West Ham United to answer from a defensive point of view and I think Wolves are definitely going to be posing some real problems for them.
A lack of clean sheets has been holding Wolves back from seriously challenging the top four places, but they are playing well at the moment and 1 loss from their last 15 in all competitions is hard to ignore. Wolves have won 3 of their last 5 here too and they hammered West Ham United here last season, pardon the pun.
This is a team who do create chances, but I do think Wolves are also missing a complimentary goalscorer to Raul Jimenez which would really help them as a team. The Mexican has been in great form all season though and is an integral part of the Wolves set up and I do think Wolves can have successes against a West Ham United team who had conceded three goals in 3 straight League games prior to the win over Chelsea.
Some will point out the mistakes made in goal by Roberto Jimenez, but this is a team who have allowed teams to create plenty of chances. On another day Chelsea would have been out of sight in the first twenty minutes on Saturday and I think Wolves are going to have too much for their visitors in this one.
West Ham United have taken some heavy losses in recent away games and I don't think the one win over Chelsea should cloud that fact. It was a very important win, but the effort produced will be difficult to replicate against another tough Premier League side and I think that might tell on the day.
Backing Wolves to win a game featuring two or more goals is the play as the home team have needed at least two goals in all but one of their home wins this season in all competitions. West Ham United do have a tendency to just concede too many goals and I think that shows up in this fixture.
At odds against backing Wolves to win a game featuring two or more goals is the play for me.
Liverpool v Everton Pick: The first Merseyside derby game of the season sees Liverpool and Everton in contrasting moods with the former leading the way in the Premier League and the latter on the verge of replacing manager Marco Silva.
That change could come as soon as Thursday morning if Everton were to lose this game and then fall into the bottom three if Southampton were to win their home League game against Norwich City on the same evening. It is not often a manager is given a couple of votes of confidence, but that has been the case for Silva who has almost lost his job after Everton's home defeat to Norwich City and then late loss at Leicester City.
Picking his players up from that defeat at the King Power Stadium is going to very difficult for Silva and this is as tough a test for Everton as they come. The side have lost 5 of their last 6 away Premier League games and have been conceding far too many goals while not having the same threat in the opposition final third and I do think they will struggle to cope with the home team.
In saying that Liverpool have been far from at full tilt themselves and they continue to leak goals, although it has yet to be a situation which has led to dropped Premier League points at Anfield. They have yet to have a home clean sheet in all competitions and Liverpool are now going back to Adrian for one game in goal after Alisson was sent off in the win over Brighton.
Adrian has certainly left the defence feeling vulnerable, but Liverpool have scored goals for fun at home and I would worry for Everton if they fall behind in this one. The front three should be rested having seen two of those players withdrawn on Saturday to earn some minutes of recovery and I think Everton are going to find it very difficult to contain this team.
The two League games between these clubs were very tight last season, but I think Liverpool can make life a bit easier for themselves this time around. With an additional day between games compared with Everton, I think Liverpool will be the final game that Marco Silva manages for the blue side of Merseyside and I think the home team are going to produce a relatively comfortable win on the night.
Sheffield United v Newcastle United Pick: Both Sheffield United and Newcastle United earned important points this past weekend when they perhaps were not expected to and that means there is some momentum to take into the midweek League fixtures.
These two are set to meet on Thursday and I do think both Chris Wilder and Steve Bruce will be targeting the fixture as one from which they can earn the full points.
Sheffield United have looked a little better in recent games and beating Arsenal and Burnley followed by a strong performance for the majority of the 3-3 draw with Manchester United in their last 3 games here will give them confidence. They are a team who create chances but are perhaps missing a clinical striker, although Lys Mousset is trying to change the narrative having scored in 4 of the last 6 games he has played.
He made it 2-0 against Manchester United before coming off in the last game at Bramall Lane and Mousset is likely going to be the big threat to Newcastle United. This is a team who have struggled for consistency and Newcastle United have conceded plenty of away goals all season which makes it hard to see them avoiding a defeat here.
The Magpies did win at West Ham United, but 4 losses from their last 5 away games has to be a concern. Newcastle United were downright poor in their 2-0 defeat at Aston Villa a couple of games ago and I do think Sheffield United will create the chances they need to turn this fixture into three points.
It is difficult to back a team at odds on to win a game when they have managed to do that in 4 of their 14 League games played this season. However 3 of those wins for Sheffield United have come at Bramall Lane and Newcastle United have yet to draw an away fixture.
Sheffield United have scored three goals in each of their last 2 home Premier League games and might have just found something in Mousset. I expect him to make the difference for them against Newcastle United who produced a big effort to earn a 2-2 draw with Manchester City last weekend and who host a winnable fixture against Crystal Palace on Sunday.
That could mean some changes for this fixture which gives Sheffield United enough of an edge to secure a narrow victory on the day.
Arsenal v Brighton Pick: The decision to remove Unai Emery as manager of Arsenal seems like being one that the board ideally didn't want to make and the lack of a replacement being announced suggests that is the case. Jose Mourinho had been linked with the top job at Arsenal but has ended up at rivals Tottenham Hotspur, while the fans are looking for a top, top name to take over.
More realistically is that Arsenal are going to plump for someone like Nuno Espirito Santo or Brendan Rodgers who have been overachieving with Wolves and Leicester City respectively, but you can't rule out Freddie Ljungberg just yet.
The caretaker manager will be given the chance to impress for a second game having overseen the 2-2 draw at Norwich City which underlined the way things have gone for Arsenal this season. Going forward they look a real threat, which isn't a surprise considering the attacking talent they can pick from, but defensively Norwich City created some big openings throughout the game.
I would expect more of the same on Thursday with the limited time to train and change methods between games at this time of the season. That does make it hard to believe in Arsenal who have not won any of their last 8 games in all competitions and who have failed to win their last 4 at the Emirates Stadium, but this does feel like an ideal game to get back on track.
That is no disrespect to Brighton who gave Liverpool a couple of scares in the 2-1 loss at Anfield on Saturday. However they could have been put to the sword very early on and Brighton have lost their last 4 away games in the Premier League and conceded at least twice in each of those games.
Graham Potter has improved the playing style and it has produced some big results, but I also think Brighton can be a little too open and that can be exploited. The likes of Chelsea, Aston Villa and Manchester United created plenty of chances against Brighton in recent home games against them and I would not be surprised if Arsenal can do the same here.
The home team are lacking confidence which makes them vulnerable and Brighton have scored at Old Trafford and Anfield to make it hard to completely draw a line through them. They also managed a 1-1 draw here last season so have to be given due respect in this fixture, but I think Arsenal can create enough chances to win the game.
For all their nice play, Brighton have not scored more than one away goal in any of their last 6 Premier League games. On the other hand Arsenal have scored at least twice in 5 of their 7 League games played at the Emirates Stadium so backing the home team to win a game featuring two or more goals is the call.
MY PICKS: Crystal Palace-Bournemouth Over 2.5 Goals @ 2.00 William Hill (2 Units)
Burnley-Manchester City Both Teams to Score @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Chelsea - 1.5 Asian Handicap @ 1.85 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Leicester City - 1.25 Asian Handicap @ 1.85 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Manchester United-Tottenham Hotspur Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.80 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Wolves & Over 1.5 Goals @ 2.15 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Liverpool - 1.25 Asian Handicap @ 1.90 Bet365 (2 Units)
Sheffield United @ 1.85 Sky Bet (2 Units)
Arsenal & Over 1.5 Goals @ 1.83 Coral (2 Units)
November 2019/20: 9-16, - 12.66 Units (50 Units Staked, - 25.32% Yield)
October 2019/20: 16-14-2, + 6.14 Units (62 Units Staked, + 9.90% Yield)
September 2019/20: 13-9-1, + 8.82 Units (46 Units Staked, + 19.17% Yield)
August 2019/20: 14-17-2, - 8.78 Units (64 Units Staked, - 13.72% Yield)
My last feeling before I post this is that Abraham is going to miss out. While I would not be surprised if he is on the bench, I think Frank Lampard will have looked at fixtures against Everton and Lille coming up and recognised he can't really afford to have Abraham suffer a setback if not at 100% and he would expect his Chelsea team to have too much for Aston Villa anyway.
I wrote much of above on Monday evening and so my decision has been reached that I will go with Lys Mousset over Jordan Ayew and look for Sheffield United to outscore Crystal Palace in the next four games before my Wild Card is likely to be activated.
Mousset has the statistical edge over Ayew and it will also allow me to make an important transfer in GW16 to improve my overall team.
Lys Mousset- four goals in six Sheffield United appearances is not really going to be sustainable, but I am willing to ride the Lys Mousset momentum for a few games coming up. Sheffield United create chances and Mousset looks more dangerous than David McGoldrick as well as having the confidence of scoring goals behind him.
I bring him in for Tammy Abraham which means a big saving is made and also sets me up to improve other areas of my team.
Bench- Michael McGovern, Fiyaki Tomori (this might surprise with a home game against Aston Villa to come, especially with Chelsea's run of 3 home clean sheets only ending on Saturday. However Aston Villa can cause problems and I am happy with Tomori coming in if one of my starters is absent. Chelsea might have more chance of a clean sheet than Liverpool too, but the attacking talents of the full backs I have makes it impossible to drop them), Andrea Pereira (tough home game and playing deeper than I wanted), Xande Silva